When the Nordic Combined World Cup will hit the German venue of Oberstdorf for one more Individual Gundersen and a Team Event, it will not be only a regular World Cup weekend. For many of the participants, high stakes are riding on these competitions, as the last tickets to Sochi are battled out.
In addition to that, the Team Event gives one more chance to gain experience in the third Olympic format. "This weekend, it's the Team Event's dress rehearsal in my hometown of Oberstdorf and of course we will see to get into the right team spirit for Sochi already", local hero Johannes Rydzek, who has developed a habit of winning the competitions in Oberstdorf in summer, points out.
The organisers in Oberstdorf, well-experienced by many years of the famous Four Hills Tournament but also with a big heart for hosting Nordic Combined events like the by now traditional final of the Summer Grand Prix, have prepared the hill and the tracks in Oberstdorf's cross-country stadium "Ried" well. Just one weekend after hosting IPC World Cup finals with the best disabled cross-country skiers in the world, Oberstdorf is as ready as can be to welcome the elite of Nordic Combined for this last test of strength before the Olympics.
"The snow situation is good, the World Cup can definitely take place. The weather on the weekend is forecasted to be decent, maybe even a little wintry! We are hoping for a little more white "frosting" to present beautiful winter pictures to the TV spectators and audience alike. In any case, we are looking forward to thrilling competitions", OC Secretary General Stefan Huber says.
For the German team around the almost unbeatable Eric Frenzel, the upcoming weekend promises to turn into a big confidence booster in front of the home crowd which will probably jump on the last chance to experience their athletes up close and personal before this winter's main event. And so the framework is set for a last weekend full of thrilling competitions, close fights and good memories to accompany the athletes to Russia on a high note.